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[[caption-width-right:320:"This is 911, do you have an emergency?"]]

''Rescue 911'' was a TV show that re-enacted true stories of people involved in emergency medical situations--it showed how the situation occurred, what happened, how other people helped, how emergency services got involved, and the aftermath of what happened.

The show aired on {{CBS}} from 1989 to 1996, and took its material from late 1980s and early 1990s cases. There was also a special subseries called "200 Lives Saved" which featured people who spoke of how the things they learned from the show helped them save other people's lives.

Each episode consisted of a few segments, each its own story. Each segment started with people going about their daily lives, then some person(s) becoming involved in some situation that caused a medical emergency, and then people responding to it, and then emergency services (police/fire/medical) responding, and then maybe a few scenes from the hospital, and finally some scenes from what life was like some time later. The vast majority of stories involved some sort of serious physical injury or other life-threatening situation, although the vast majority of stories (though not all!) also have survivors. And there are a few that don't involve any injuries at all but have various unusual situations. The series was originally an hour-long series but was aired in a half-hour version in synication.

It was hosted by WilliamShatner.
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!!This show contains examples of:
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: A dog gets his head stuck in a dryer vent. The kids who are taking care of the dog are actually ''quite'' amused but call 911 regardless.
* AdultFear: Your kid could get struck by lightning, get run over by a school bus, drown, hide from dangerous burglars, fall out of a multistory building, choke on something, get burned, get electrocuted, get shot...pleasant dreams!
** And don't forget how if a kid doesn't get hurt, s/he has to ''watch'' an adult or another kid being hurt, and they can't do almost anything about it but call 911 and wait. The mere idea of having a kid subjected to trauma like that is freaking scary for adults.
* AllPartOfTheShow / RealityIsUnrealistic: A few times, people assume that the victims are joking. This is discussed in "Send in the Clowns," where a clown's reaction to cardiac arrest is mistaken for a comedy act.
* BittersweetEnding: Sometimes they walk away with damage or even worse but a greater tragedy was averted.
** In "Runaway Boxcars," [[spoiler:the officer managed to prevent a much bigger accident, but one of the two people in the car died]].
** The episode with the crocodile in Africa. [[spoiler:The victim walks away with permanent arm damage...and the dad ''lost his arm''.]]
** "Sealant Overdose": [[spoiler: The good news? They saved the patient. The bad news? He has brain damage.]]
** "Scuba Cave": [[spoiler: Two out of the three divers make it out. One of them even manages to climb out of the water ''himself''.]]
** "Butane Huffing": Three teens stop huffing butane, but it took the death of a fourth to teach them the lesson.
* BodyHorror: "Baby Bathtub Burn". You'll never look at hot water the same again.
** ''Any'' of the burns. There's one where hot grease is spilled on a baby and the ''grandmother'' gets burns on ''her'' hands, too.
* CrimeReconstruction: And accident reconstruction, too.
* DownerEnding: This is mostly averted ''because'' the victims acted the right way and emergency services came in time, but unfortunately there were [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rescue_911#Deaths a few episodes]] where people actually died.
** This was notable in "Butane Huffing," where a teenager collapses and dies after huffing butane to get high, which was ostensibly produced to make the point that [[DrugsAreBad Inhalant Abuse Is Bad]].
* DrivenToSuicide: "Suicide Save," "911 Suicide Save," and "Suicidal Caller".
* DrugsAreBad: "Sealant Overdose" and "Butane Huffing" specifically mention inhalants. The show also had a couple of drunk-driving cases, and pointed out that it's the ''drunk-driving'' that's bad.
** There was also one about binge-drinking, but it was pointed out that the ''binge'' drinking was bad.
* EaglelandOsmosis: Australian viewers were reminded to call 000.
** In New Zealand, despite showing a disclaimer that 111 is their emergency call number, the show still had to be re-titled ''Rescue 111'' in New Zealand shortly after, then simply ''Rescue'' in its final years.
* EmergencyServices
* EyeScream: "Chemistry Hero." A science experiment blew up in a science teacher's face, but thanks to the quick thinking of a colleague who got him to the emergency eye washer immediately and irrigated his eyes until the paramedics arrived, his sight was saved.
* FireForgedFriends: It's not uncommon for strangers to become friends over the rescues.
* FreudianExcuse: The girl in "Glass Bottle" never drinks from a bottle because of her traumatic experience with the bottle.
** It's been mentioned that the kid whose tongue got frozen to the freezer stays the hell away from the icebox in real life because of what happened.
* HappyEnding: Aside from a few exceptions, ''Rescue 911'' featured these. Justified in that the point of the show was to show how the response ''causes'' a happy ending.
* HumiliationConga: A RealLife example happened to the titular crook from "Chimney Trapped Crook." First, he got stuck in the fireplace after [[WhatAnIdiot trying to break in through the chimney]]. Then the homeowners called the police, who showed up and had a good laugh. Then a fire/rescue crew showed up, and ''they'' all had a good laugh. Then the homeowners started taking some pictures to send to friends and family, further adding to the humiliation. Then, after spending half the night upside down, he is freed from the chimney--only to get tackled by some cops and firemen, arrested, and (later) sentenced. THEN some producers made an episode of ''Rescue 911'' about it...
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: What many of the rescuers say afterward.
* InstantEmergencyResponse: Averted considering that the stories usually have emergency services seeming to take forever to get to the emergencies. For instance, there is a story of wounded man in an isolated farm house and it was noted that it would take 20 minutes for the ambulance to get there at maximum speed with lights and siren.
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: Though popular in its own right, this show has yet to see an official DVD release (likely due to the true stories involved, and whether or not CBS still has the master tapes). However, that hasn't stopped [[http://www.youtube.com/user/allgood2000 two]] [[http://www.youtube.com/user/BeatleMoe YouTubers]] from posting various episodes on Website/YouTube.
** The show did get a VHS release in 1997 as ''Rescue 911: World's Greatest Rescues''; however, it is edited together with international stories and a new narrator.
* KidHero: Quite a few. They even produced a special about it.
* LicensedPinballTable: Made by Creator/{{Gottlieb}} in 1994, and fairly well-regarded to boot. [[Pinball/{{Rescue 911}} Click here for details.]]
* ManipulativeEditing: In one episode, a kid fell in a frozen river and was stuck underwater for about 45 minutes. One commenter points out that the kid actually had shoplifted and was running away, and the media painted it as a rescue. In real life, he faced no charges for what he did because of what happened.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: A recurring theme is people who pull through despite slim prognoses that they'll survive their horrific injuries.
* OhCrap: A common reaction by 911 operators and paramedics when they discover how severely someone is injured, or by the victims themselves when they realize something bad is about to happen.
* ThePublicDomainChannel: The kids in the segments all seem to love old cartoons.
* RousseauWasRight / TaughtByTelevision: Many more lives were saved thanks to this show. A couple episodes ''of'' the show have actually had people mention that they had watched Rescue 911.
** In "Wrong Number Rescue," a couple of kids call a wrong number by mistake. On the other line is an old man who is wheezing and saying he can't catch his breath, so they call an ambulance after finding out where he lives.
** Within the show itself, it's surprising how many times a random person saves a complete stranger.
* SocietyMarchesOn: In a few episodes, callers didn't ''have'' a 911 service, so they called a specific number for a police or fire department. The show's popularity actually coincided with the adoption of the 911 emergency service in the U.S. and Canada, and certainly helped spread public consciousness about it.
** This was notable in "Wrong Number Rescue," where the girls had to look up the emergency numbers, since they lived in a town that was too small for a 911 service.
* SpiritualSuccessor: The show was basically a real life ''{{Series/Emergency}}''
* TechnologyMarchesOn: A few examples:
** "911 Under the Bed" featured the victim going for a rotary phone, before grabbing a digital phone to save time on dialing. It's worth noting that cell phones existed at the time of the segment, but the only available models were expensive and bulky.
*** You actually can see these sometimes. An episode about killer bees shows just how bulky those old cell phones were.
** A few episodes showed garage doors trapping people underneath them. In those cases, the houses had to have been built in the 1980s or before, when garage doors were ''much'' more dangerous because they lacked sensors and would keep descending no matter what (or ''who'') was underneath.
** With episodes dealing with carbon monoxide poisoning, one might wonder why the victims didn't have CO-detectors. Common carbon monoxide detectors at the time tended to be pads that would turn brown or black when CO was present. Audible alarms didn't become commonplace until the 1990s, after carbon monoxide deaths had increased.
** The scenario in "Freezer Tongue" might be more difficult today, since a lot of refrigerators have freezers on the bottom or on the side.
** Every so often, you might see an episode that shows a child playing a NintendoEntertainmentSystem or SegaGenesis.
** Another episode had a five-year-old girl call 911 after coming home and finding the house completely empty. What had happened was a case of [[PoorCommunicationKills communication failure]]: the girl normally took a bus to another school where she was picked up by her mother; however, on that particular day she was instead taken straight home by a friend's parents, and her mother was at the other school looking for her. Naturally, with the prevalence of cell phones today, such a scenario may seem antiquated to the modern viewer.
** One episode features a toddler getting burned by hot oil when he trips over a fryer's electric cord. Modern fryers have breakaway cords that are designed to prevent exactly that kind of thing from happening.
* TruthInTelevision: Some people on Website/YouTube who were ''in'' the show have actually left comments about it.
** Some of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning actually mirror the flu--a common pattern was that the family poisoned by CO thought that they were coming down with something.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: The fashions, sporadic EightiesHair, occasional pop culture references, and everything listed under TechnologyMarchesOn firmly plants this series in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Nearly ''always'' done at the end of a segment. Usually, ''Rescue 911'' filmed the segment's protagonists walking along a beach or walkway, visiting a fun center or public park, or other somesuch. The show also liked to film the protagonists meeting back up with the dispatchers and/or other personnel that rendered assistance.
** If their segment is posted on Website/YouTube, then sometimes the people involved (or those who know them) will post a comment, saying what they're up to today.
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